Degradation

Degradation, is an ongoing series where I examine the degradation of my local landscapes by the human hand through exploiting the organic nature of film and its reaction to contact with the environment. I attempt to bridge the disconnect that exists between the subject and the final image by exposing film to the weathering and destructive nature of the elements. I wanted to move away from the image of landscapes as sterile, pristine, and untouched by human interactions and instead I have looked at the environmentally conscious landscape whose initial seemingly pristine picture hides a more disturbing reality or past. This involves looking away from the humanless landscape and instead realizing our impact on the surrounding environment and the long-term implications of this impact.

In this project I examined the forest as it forms a part of our collective identity as British Columbians. I photographed second growth forests where the original ancient forests had been devastated by clear cutting in the 1920s and then exposed the developed film to snow, wind, rain, and earth for many months. This aging process provided the missing link that connects the image to the effects humans have had on their environment. I also looked at some of the best known and most photographed beaches in Canada and examined the dichotomy between the seemingly unspoiled beauty of these beaches and the extent of the pollution of B.C.’s ocean waters.